tv Consider This Al Jazeera December 25, 2013 1:00am-2:01am EST
he. >> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster. , life support, allowing her family a time for appeal. the teenager was declared brain dead after she suffered complications from a tonsillectomy earlier this month. her family is hoping for a christmas miracle. pope francis performed his first ever christmas eve ceremony. two astronauts replaced a
750 pound pump by replacing some of its parts. a voter ban on gay marriages was overturned by the state, then another higher court weighs about in. and the price of a stamp is good about to go up. first class letter will now cost 49 cents. the new letter takes place january 26th and is scheduled to laos two years. i'm david shuster, those are the headlines. tornados, wildfires, floods and the aftermath of hurricane sandy. consider this after a year
filled with terrible natural disasters, how are those affected getting their lives back together? also for the first time in close to 600 years a pope stepped down, as the appointment of pope francis reinvigorated the catholic church. and dr. wendy walsh is here to tell us how to avoid the holiday blues. and if you think of classics like it's a wonderful life and miracle of 34th street, we'll talk about some of the classics you may not have heard of. we begin with a look back at some of the natural disasters that after -- afflicted so many americans. >> reporter: first the sirens.
then the frantic race to take cover. some in basements. others in bathtubs. the final warning is unmistakab unmistakable. an erie stillness blankets the land. two f-5 level tornados ripped through oklahoma. winds crashed through neighborhoods at nearly 300 miles an hour. >> this was one of the biggest and strongest tornados ever. his wind field and intensity were among the strongest that have been ever observed. >> reporter: this scientist approached the tornado with his research team. after scanning in he knew the risk was to high to move forward. but nearby a group of tornado tornado. >> once inside it is very
difficult to maneuver. the winds are maybe blowing 70, 100 miles an hour. >> reporter: tim, his son paul, and colleague, very experienced and skilled storm chasers died that day, the first time on record that a tornado killed storm chasers. authorities say these two disasters left over 30 dead, hundreds injured, and 10s of thousands of homes destroyed. >> for all of those affected we recognize you face a long road ahead. in some cases there will be enormous grief that has to be absorbed, but you will not travel that path alone. >> reporter: now six months later the communities in oklahoma fight on. >> these communities are quite resi resill -- resilient. they are good at recovering from
these things. >> it was traumatic to see parts of houses and giant trees i didn't even know lived in colorado going down the river and into our house. >> reporter: nearly a year's worth of rain dumped over the northern rockies in just four days. mountain sides came crashing down. david tiller is just one of thousands displaced in what event. >> the community is brought and we have rallied well. >> reporter: but now over three months later those effected are struggling to stay afloat. >> people can't manage to pay the bank and pay our rent at the same time. >> reporter: residents are
waiting to here about possible buyout option knowing this might not be the last storm. mounting. >> so there are a lot of people that are scared and panicked. a lot of panic about what they are going to do in the future. >> if you are still in zone a and can find a way to leave, leave immediately. >> reporter: ten states call a state of emergency. governors and mayors urge evacuation. amtrak shuts down, schools close, airlines cancel all flights. this 22-year-old packed up his basement and headed for higher ground >> we knew our house was the first in line to get hit. from that point on we knew life wasn't going to be the same. >> reporter: the family evacuated to a relatives house, but nothing could have prepared him for what he saw when the
storm saddled. >> it looked like a war zone. >> reporter: many residents are frustrated by government buyout offers, delays in federal aide and pending payments. >> it's the most frustrating part, the problem has now washed ahead, and people who are homeless, and this problem should have been addressed years ago, but for some people it is just a little too late. they lost everything when this problem could have been addressed years ago. >> reporter: resiliency remains not in just the hardest-hit nation. >> i hurt just like my next-door neighbor hurts. we all go through it, and so we really need to focus on that today. helping one another.
>> people helping each other. that has been the throughout all of these storms. floods and wildfires and one arizona. >> yeah, that was the most disastrous wildfire of the year. 19 firefighters died, and that's the highest in this country. >> yeah, very, very sad. storms we were lucky this year, we dealt with the aftermath of sandy, but there weren't any big hurricanes. what were the most devastating storms? the >> as you saw there in the video, the colorado floods. the midwest floods were also very devastating. oklahoma tornados, and the california rim fire in yosemite national park that was the
largest that this area had seen. and it was inching toward a reservoir that supplies 85% of san francisco's water. terrifying for that city. >> right. and we also saw man made events that were very tragic, and made fema's list of disasters. >> sure there were two. the boston marathon bombing, which we remember that media coverage completely devastating. and the other was in west texas, the fertilizer plant explosion. and what was really devastating about that was it started out as just a fire. firefighters came as they were putting it out, that's when the explosion happened. of the 14 fatalities nine were first responders. >> very, very sad as well. and which people are having the sandy?
>> there has been massive building, but still in the rock a ways, breezy point, statton island, people are still struggling, and in these cold difficult. >> yeah, so many people struggling. thank you for giving us this look back. for more i'm joined be the senior vice president for drastic cycle services at the american red cross, he is responsible for developing and executing plans to help americans deal with disasters. richard thank you for joining us. let's talk -- we will talk about the specific responses to some of the big weather events, and look at the natural disasters in general.
when it came to natural generals how did 2013 compare to 2012? >> they were not dissimilar in terms of the frequency and type of events. we did not see any major hurricanes make landfall. so that was a good thing. but we saw an above average wildfire season. a tornado season that started early and continued until even november of this year. we basically have seen about 146 major disasters that the red cross responded to across the country in 2013. so for us we also responded to over 52,000 times to single and multi-family house fires that occur on a daily and actually every ten minutes on average in this country, so it was a busy year for the american red cross. >> yeah, it sounds like it. how many people affected by these events are still struggling to put their lives together tonight and what is the
red cross doing to help them? >> i don't have the particular numbers on how many people, but most individuals and families that experience a major disaster, be it a flood, tornado, wildfire or even a single-family house fire spend a lot of time putting their lives together. the red cross is there before the bad event happens in terms of -- helping people prepare, but we're also there when the bad things happen, helping people with shelter opportunities, providing hot food and warm clothes for folks that have lost everything, in addition to providing financial assistance, to help with security deposits and first and last-month's rent. and then of course on the recovery side it's everything from individuals and families in terms of recovering, planning, covering everything from
financial planning advice and support from partner organizations to really helping people connect with services in their community whether it be at level. >> but the red cross and other release leaf -- relief organizations can only do so much. we saw it in its worst possible case in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. have things gotten better? >> it continues to improve every time. we're better at coordinating with each other, whether it be fema and hhs on the federal side, all the way down to our nonprofit organizations, and we partner to help provide services when times are needed. we also spend a lot of time
planning for a coordinated response to events. so we have improved our capacity to respond as a nation, but also to prepare communities and individuals for the likelihood areas. >> hurricane sandy the biggest natural disaster of 2012, it came at the end of the year, we heard from janna about how people are still suffering. what is the red cross still doing? how involved are you in the northeastern area? >> yeah, we remain committed to the area impacted by sandy not just new york and new jersey but other parts of the country that were impacted by that event. the red provided over $74 million in support to 60 different organizations providing services every day in these communities. everything from food banks to habitat for humanity, save the children and other organizations that are providing care that we don't provide.
we feel we have a responsibility to support recovery not only from what we do, but in terms of helping individuals and others. so red cross remained engaged in sandy and floods in illinois, tornados in oklahoma, and wildfires and floods in colorado. so we're still there. >> and you mentioned preparing people for the next events. how much can you actually do to prepare for another sandy or another big wildfire or some huge floods? >> the challenge with preparedness is there is no one organization that can accommodate the needs of the american public. that said, i will tell you that while we can't predict with any certainty the types of events that are going to happen and when they will in communities, we do know historically that flood-prone area
typically flood at typical times during the year. you need to think about floods wildfires tornados and those sorts of things in other areas. so i think we need to focus in on those things that are most likely to happen in communities, and help people think about what they can and should do. everything from if you are in a flood prone area, you probably know it. if you have mortgage you probably have flood insurance. if not, you probably need to look into that. you can think about things you do within your own home to protect not only your belongings, but also the folks that live there. do you have an evacuation route. do you know where your sensitive papers are. and if your basement typically floods maybe you don't want to put those things in a basement, but put them in a higher element of your home.
on the home fires the red cross spends most of our time, as i said eight or nine minutes every day responding to a home fire somewhere. that's a hazard we can make a dent in on the preparedness side. whether that is having smoke alarms and changing their bratries, making sure you know what condition your furnace is in, and how to prevent oven fires, for example, those things we can actually help people learn how to do, and make an numbers. >> as we always hear people say the generosity of others is so important. good samaritans, neighbors who help each other, and i know the red cross depends on americans for your funds. so i thank you for what you do this. >> thank you very much. coming up for the first time in close to 600 years a pope
pope francis is certainly having a blessed year, by religious standards. he was elected to the papacy and chose his name after the patron saint of the poor, francis of asisi. tender moments with his embrace of two severely disfigured people, and a little boy who didn't want to believe the stage went viral. but he is really changing church doctrine or just the way the message is delivered? father james is america at large
magazine, and joins us now from his office in midtown manhattan. this has undoubtedly been pope francis's here. why is he loved by so many? >> he is authentic. he walks the walk. i think the fact he started off very simply, driving around in his crummy 1984 renault really struck people. and he uses symbols that in ways that people can relate to. >> he signals his humility immediately. he took the name of francis and humbly asked the crowd to pray for him before anything else. what is the significance of his choice of names? >> that's a great question. i think some people may have
felt it was too holy, but the hope really wanted to choose that name as his sign for the love of the poor and love of poverty and simplicity. >> you mentioned how he lives simply. he lived modestly in argentina. he lived in an apartment. he has refused most of the guilted trappings of being pope. is that message -- how important is the message that he is sending with the way he lives? >> it's extremely important. i think if he preached a love of poverty and love for the poor and simple lifestyle, people wouldn't take him seriously. this starts as early as from his first vows of jesuit. this is who he is and what he is used to. and i think people are really responding to that. >> this living simply, though, is such a big break with tradition.
how it is being received awrong vatican? >> that's hard to say. i think most people are delighted and the idea that the pope would be man of the year and people would be listening to them and sympathetic to the catholic church's message is really positive. there are some people that are disturbed by some of the changes he is trying to initiate. but for the most part people are delighted. >> he has gone after corruption another the vatican bank, and moved some high protile people out of positions there at the vatican. polls show him seen favorably, but when you look at the hierarchy of the church, is he 92% popular? >> well, i don't know. but remember that this conclave elected him, and one of the
things they really wanted to do -- most of the cardinals talked about this before his election, was to clean up the vatican bank and reform the curi curia. and i think he is right in line with what they hoped and expected him to do. >> he surprised everyone when he talked about homosexuals by saying . . . but that's a major change from pope benedict who said that homosexuality is quote . . . on the other hand francis objected to women becoming priests saying . . . so is this all an indication
that there are policy changes coming or just a change in the church's tone? >> well, i think it's a decided change in the church's tone, which is a change. i think it's very important to see that even a change in the church's tone signifies a new way of talking to people which will change the way people see the church. all you need to do is ask gays and lesbians for their reaction. the gay and lesbian advocate magazine just named him person of the year. >> time magazine as you say named him person of the year, and . . . should they have hope? is he a doctrine of old
traditionals who won't change up, or is he a true reformer? >> he is not going to change church doctrine. he is not going to say there is no trinity or jesus didn't rise from the dead or something like that. but i think the fact that he is shaking things up shows that the holy spirit does what the holy spirit wants to do, and we're seeing the spirit at work as people are seeing that and listening to what he is saying. >> is there a chance he'll reform other things that is not doctrinal. his only living sibling is a sister who is divorced. is there a chance he might allow a path back to the church for divorced catholics? >> i think that's one hope for change. the archbishop said pretty much everything is on the table, and no topic is taboo. and the conception of divorce
and remarriage and back to the church is something people will be looking carefully at. >> many think he shouldn't changes thing, and follow in the footsteps of pope benedict, and those who think he is going too far, how big of an issue is that going to be for the church? >> those categories are more political categories. pope francis is conservative in the sense that he wants to conserve church doctrine, but he is more liberal than any democrat by talking by income inquality and the tyranny of the market. things. >> on that note, the pope has been open and at times supportive about priests who espouse liberation theology
which certainly is the extreme left of the catholic church, and that's a big departure from his predecessors. john paul ii can [ inaudible ]. tone. >> it is more than a change of tone. i think you are finding concepts like liberation theology, although he doesn't use those terms much more front and center. he uses the worlds "social ju justice justice." and he is giving it a spin and force that i don't think we have seen in a long time. >> and that focus has upset conservatives in the u.s., not necessarily catholic. rush limbaugh said his views -- the pope's views on poverty were quote . . .
the pope took it in stride saying . . . do you think we are going to start seeing more of that noisement coming out of the american right? >> i don't know. i would say to people like rush limbaugh go and learn the meaning of catholic social teaching to sort of steal a phrase from jesus. this is catholic social teaching he is espousing. it is certainly not marxism or an attack on capitolism per se. this has been the church's teaching since leo the 13th. >> we have a social media question for you, father. >> father, we asked our viewer is pope francis moving the catholic church in a new direction? viewer stanley responded, not in a new direction. he is moving the church back to where it should have been the whole time.
do you agree? >> i think the church has always been there. but i think he is trying to sort of put it front and center. i think he is trying to remind us that the church has always been there. i spent two years in east africa, working with refugees in the 1990s. so it's not as if the church has suddenly discovered his commitment to the pour. but pope francis is trying to remind us of what has always been there. >> do you think he will be a transformtive pope? u.s.? >> i think he already is transforming things. i think just the fact that people are delighted with him, and people come up to me and say they are coming back to mass and the church because of him. so something like that, i think is transformational.
he is welcoming people back, or people feel more welcome back who felt welcome in a long time. >> we really appreciate your time and wish you the merriest of christmases. thank you. straight ahead, not everyone is thrilled this time of year, but we'll have the best way to beat the holiday blues next. and why are christmas trees such a big tradition. and when did gift giving become such a huge part of the holiday. and hunger games lit up we box office in 2013. we'll have a look back at the biggest films of the year later on.
every sunday night join us for exclusive, revealing and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time. this sunday. >> we try to be funny in serious stories which is very, very rare. >> he made radio cool with his sense of humor, insight and curiosity. he opened a new window into american life. >> before they know it we're actually able to present something new that they haven't heard about. >> talk to al jazeera with ira glass. while many millions of people enjoy the holidays, many others don't. more than 10 million americans have at lease mild symptoms of depression during the holiday season. so what causes it, while so many other people are so happy. and how can you beat the holiday blues?
let's ask dr. wendy walsh. what is the biggest cause of holiday depression? >> i think holiday depression has twofold causes. the first is purely environmental. these are the darkest days of the year. and seasonal effective disorder can effect all kinds of people. in our ancient past when people worried if the sun was coming back, they huddled around fires sharing food. thus many festivals have revolved back to life. the second thing is a trip back to our childhood that may involve bad family dynamics. >> all right. how can you fight just simply year. >> well, i think getting
together with people you love, lighting candles, christmas shopping, that isser very, very important. sitting alone in the dark is not good. being outside during the daylight hours can actually help you brain a little bit. so get out, don't stay inside. >> if you do start feeling more substantial symptoms of depressionment coming on, what should people do? >> well, if they are the kind of personality who suffers from the true definition of depression. dysfunctional behaviors that affect their sleeping, eating, and relationships for two weeks or more, those people should reach out and seek professional help. but if it's just a day or two of feeling the blues, then it is up to you to reach out to people in ways that can improve your help.
and it may even be just by giving back. >> and going through my research and looking on the internet today, there is an unbelievable amount of advice out there. including i found one place where it was advising people to drink veggie smoothie, which if i had to drink a veggie smoothie that would cause depression right there. >> these are the holidays and it is a time of excess and abundance and we eat a lot of saturated fats and carbs. and that is something to consider. but at the end of the day there will be lots of different advice everybody. >> we have viewer reaction to our segment. >> dr. walsh we asked our viewers this question, why do you think many battle depression
during the holidays. viewer drew responded because we are bombarded with the concept of the ideal holiday and what it should be, instead of reality. is that a problem? >> yes, these rituals which aren't linked to happiness, but lights and festivities and singing are really a kind of forced happiness. so you can look at everyone else and go what are they cheering about? [ laughter ] >> and you mentioned family dynamics. and that can be a part of it. family can create problems. >> family is a double-edged sword. in one sense it can be very satiating. however, if your early life was
filled with a kind of trauma and you have worked hard to get past it, revisiting is a test of your resources. if you have really evolved and healed yourself, then when you go back those family buttons will not be able to press your hot buttons, so just the fact they are triggering you tells me you haven't completed all of the work that needs to be done. >> and then there are the issues of families that are divided. a some people struggle because they have to go to the in-laws, others are divorced and can't be with their familiefamilies. what strategies do you recommend for those people. >> we know about the 50% divorce
rate, you have 44% of american babies consistently for the last 15 years being born outside of wedlock or with cohabitating couples. you have 14 million single mothers raising 1 in 4 american kids. christmas as we used to know it where everyone comes together, this ideal of a nuclear family coming together may not be the reality for most americans, so it's time for us to get creative, look at that ka -- calendar and say there is time to see everyboand it doesn't have christmas. >> and is part of the problem that we are just trying to do too much. >> oh, yes. we are way every scheduled and way overconnected to
consumerism. when consumerism was developed it was because we were poor. and a new pair of sock was a big deal. now we are walking there aisle aisles and aisles of stuff saying what do they need? and the concerts and parties, it's all too much. so i think learning to say no is holidays. >> on the other hand as you mentioned early on, it's important to give back. >> there are three things that research has shown are as good as an anti depressant in raising mood. exercise, being with close friends and family, and alterism alterism. giving back feels good.
don't get on facebook and see everybody having a better life than you. go to a soup kitchen, go to skid row, and all of a sudden your life will look real nice. >> that's great advice. let's hope people have a wonderful holiday season, and i hope you do too. >> thank you. coming up from rudolf to die hard, the holidays are a big time for movies. we'll take a look at some of the
trees and wreaths have roots that precede christianity. early europeans used them to celebrate the winter solstice, and many believed evergreens kept away evil spirits. it took about 500 years for it to become a full-fledged holiday for christians. it's a billion dollars business now, between 25 and 30 million real ones are sold every year in the u.s. fake ones are also popular. martin luther is believed to have added light. he was inspired by beautiful stars shining above evergreens on the way home thomas edison was the first to add electric lights to a christmas
celebration outside of the his laboratory. his company's president took the idea a step further and added lights to a tree inside at home. today the department of energy say holiday lights use up electricity that could power 200,000 homes for a full year. we're guess issing edison never saw something like the rockefeller center christmas ligh lighting coming. now it is beautiful, but creates traffic nightmares for new yorkers for about six weeks. gift giving goes back to baby jesus. here in america, consumerism focus may have begun with the first christmas ads of course we know what that led to, black friday. coming up we'll run down the >> start with one issue
ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america was -- prince william was dating kate middleton. >> ross shimabuku is here with sport. >> dennis rodman is in north korea to train basketball players for an upcoming player. he wants everyone to know he's not a joke. this is the same guy who dressed up in a wedding gown and will rite a book with his bff, kim jong un. the 52-year-old rodman, who never shies away from the spotlight arrived in north korea
what would the holidays be without movies? they have become as much of the holiday season as the tree. let's run down the greatest holiday films of all time with bill wyman from phoenix. and ben mankiewicz joins us from los angeles. great to have you guys with us again. ben, why has "it's a wonderful life" become the ultimate christmas movie. >> i read not long ago a piece about "it's a wonderful life" that described it as being beyond criticism, and i think that is true. there are things that i suppose you could pick apart that are flawed or manipulative about the movie, it makes no difference. time. >> every time. and also "a christmas
story," television has had such an enormous role in making these movies what they are. " now of course everyone will watch it this month, and like "a christmas story," which the sister networks have done, they'll run it for 24 hours, and television has made these move i haves what they are now. >> bill, "it's a wonderful life" one of several great classics, what other ones are you partial too? this >> it really is a classic. such a wonderful movie, and frank is a terrific director, and has a timeless story to it. i like -- i like "holiday inn," which is really nice to see fred astaire doing something besides
a ginger rogers movie. >> that's the movie that the song "white in. >> exactly. but that is really worth going out and seeing. miracle on 34th street" i'm okay with. >> just okay? >> oh, yeah. it's a wonderful life" strikes me as a superior piece of film making. >> ben we have to call him on this one. okay. >> "miracle on 34th street is," and if you have just seen "it's a wonderful life," and you want your heart strings tugged again, you have got to "miracle on 34th street" is a must see. the idea of she was a martha
stewart of the 1940s, except she is a giant liar. romantic. >> and you can find a lot of these on youtube. if you poke around you can find some really great christmas movies on youtube. >> well, ben saved you there, bill, because i was going to call you both scrooges. the '80s was a great time for christmas stories. there were a couple of others including a remake of "christmas carol." >> right. a remake of "a christmas carol." i think there have been six versions of "a christmas carol," i may be one up or down on that. but
"scrooge" is a familiaral movie. a christmas story," which is barely a movie. it is just a series of stories that he remembered from his childhood sort of put together around christmas, but it doesn't make any difference. a christmas story" has this weird thing where you will come into it 19 minutes into it, and then watch it again and keep watching even though you just saw it two hours ago. >> it is an odd movie, the director directed porkies -- >> porkies was pretty funny. >> but it is a tv movie in the worst sense of the word. but there is something so charming, and just so outerly gro goofy.
it is a goofy look at american life in the 1950s, i guess -- >> no it's 1930s or 40s, but it's so low budget it's hard to tell. bob clark did a pretty good job of recreating whatever year that is, but it is based on the cars and so forth it is basically early 40s. >> and these films end up becoming broadway shows or off broadway shows, "a christmas story" is off broadway, of course "a christmas carol" has been made into no knows how many shows. >> yes, "elf" is another one of these movies that has some great comic moments in.
and the thing about "christmas story" is it's about getting together, and "elf " is another that threads that needle perfectly. >> another one that happens around christmas time is "home alone." ben that was one of the great surprises of my life. [ laughter ] >> the "home alone" -- i don't know -- i don't have the same affinity for "home alone" everybody else does, but i'm wondering if it will do for television what "it's a wonderful life" did, because "home alone" strikes me as one that people watch again and again at christmas. movies where the star of the film is a child couldn't
[ laughter ] >> but obviously loved by them. >> that's such a great observation, because some of these are so carefully husbanded, and maybe they should years. >> and we have "santa claus" that has become another franchise ben. >> yeah. >> and they have run it into the ground. >> yeah, but there is money to be spent this time of year, and families will spend it. the kids are home and you have to do something with the kids so you go to the movies, so we're never going to lack for movies about christmas. there will always be plenty of them and there will always be a mark for them.
>> and we always have action movies that take place at christmas. it is a big time to use the holiday as a backdrop for movies that come out this time of year, we have "die hard" and "deadly weapon." >> that's true. and even "die hard ii" was set at christmas. there is a french movie that came out about ten years ago which is merry christmas in french, but it's a war movie, and when we talk about the power of holidays to bring us together in the context of war -- and it's a very serious war move i have, but i think that is an adult holiday movie in the same way that "bad santa" is.
>> all right. how about romance. love actually" is the one i can remember. >> yeah, and i mentioned "christmas in connecticut" which movie. >> "eyes wide shut." >> "eyes wide shut" -- >> how romantic is that one? [ laughter ] >> but, you know, again it's the time of year when people want to come together with their families. it's perfect, nobody wants to be alone at christmas, and nobody wants to think of other people as being alone at christmas, so it makes sense that we want to see stories where people come together. i liked "love actually." i don't think of it as being a christmas movie, and it's interesting that you do. but i get why.
and i love four weddings and a funeral." and i fight with every one of my guy friends ever year, except for my friend and al jazeera in movies. movies? >> i think because there aren't any jews working in holiday. [ laughter ] >> that's right. well, let's just leave it at yeah. >> [ laughter ] >> you won't go any further with that. let's leave it there. it is christmas eve, bill, ben, always great to have you with us. thanks. the show may be over, but the conversation continues on our website. you can also find us on twitter at merry christmas.
thousands of people gather at the church of the that tiff toy celebrate christmas in bethlehem. target is now giving a new warn to go 40 million people's who credit and debit card was stole someone a holiday hacking scam of. united nations is nearly doubling its peacekeeping forces in south sudan as the violence in the african country and the death toll continue to rise. and a federal court clears the way for same-sex marriage to continue in utah. ♪ ♪